10 Aug 2016



BACK COVER BLURB: England is in crisis. King Edward has no heir and promises never to produce one. There are no obvious successors available to replace him, but quite a few claimants are eager to take the crown. While power struggles break out between the various factions at court, enemies abroad plot to make England their own. There are raids across the borders with Wales and Scotland.

Harold Godwinson, Earl of Wessex, is seen by many as the one man who can bring stability to the kingdom. He has powerful friends and two women who love him, but he has enemies who will stop at nothing to gain power. As 1066 begins, England heads for an uncertain future. It seems even the heavens are against Harold.

Intelligent and courageous, can Harold forge his own destiny - or does he have to bow to what fates impose?

FIRST SENTENCE {Rouen, Normandy 1087}: In his bed the King, who can never be killed, lies dying.

MEMORABLE MOMENT {Page 117}: 'Well, there is the Church to reform and as I'm forbidden from consecrating Spearhavoc, I'm afraid he will have to go. We can't have an unconsecrated Bishop of London.'

'But he's working on my new crown.

De Jumieges gave Edward a disapproving look.

'I suppose you're right,' admitted the King. 'As usual.'

SOURCE: Received for review from the author.

MY THOUGHTS: Not so hot on the dialogue which I found a bit clunky, a bit awkward at times and certainly no great bard when it comes to romance however ....

A period in time that I covered in my school history lessons so knew the ending. Not that this matters as 1066 is all about the journey as it were and what a job the author does in fleshing out that journey, of detailing the events, the politics, the hostilities, the contentions, the skirmishes, the battles, the religious affiliations - I could go on.

And yet, and this probably says more about myself than the author, a reader for whom characterisation is just as important as plot (yes, even when it comes down to historical fiction) I couldn't help but be the teeniest bit disappointed that try as he might Holloway didn't quite bring the characters to life for me, his true forte lying, I believe, in the action scenes of which there were plenty particularly come the latter third of the novel.

Still, left satisfied by a book well written. I'm hoping that there are more books planned. Perhaps one based around the Magna Carte, another event in history that could do with bringing to life.


Literary Feline said...

I don't know that this one is for me, but I am glad you liked it.

carol said...

I don't know much about this time in England's history, but this one sounds a little flat for me. Not great dialogue and characters that don't come to life put me off.

Anonymous said...

This isn't my kind of book - I'm more of a crime and thriller girl!!

Shooting Stars Mag said...

Characters are usually a really big part of liking a book for me, so that's a bummer the author didn't really bring them to life for you! Thanks for your thoughts.

Melissa (Books and Things) said...

Yea... I need to connect to the characters in a historical fiction. Too bad it fell a bit short for you.

Kelly said...

You caught my interest right off considering I'm currently reading a novel (tome) that begins about 60 years prior to this. While your review sounds good and would normally cause me to add it to my wish list, I'll probably pass on it. Instead, I'll probably opt to read the book covering this same timeframe written by the author I'm reading now. I'm already familiar with her writing style and enjoying it.

Yvonne@fiction-books said...

Hi Tracy,

Although I never seem to feature serious historical fiction much, I do actually enjoy the genre and history was always one of my favourite and most successful lessons at school.

It really is a case of 'too many books, so little time'.

I also prefer some good, well developed character building, over descriptive action scenes, so at almost 500 pages, I would probably pass on this particular tome.

I have been following Kelly's adventures with reading author Helen Hollick, who writes in the same genre, but with a much more well developed and evenly balanced technique. If you enjoyed the basic concept of this book, you could do worse than check out her author page :)

Thanks for sharing and I hope that you are enjoying your summer and are keeping well :)


Brian Joseph said...

Too bad that this was little disappointing.

Foe me, a book set this far in the past would need to have realistic dialogue for it t work for me.

I do find this era of English history fascinating.

Tracy Terry said...

Thanks for all your comments.

Yvonne: I have read Helen Hollick's books - the Pendragon series - in the past and really enjoyed them.

Its funny you should mention this Brian as reading What Fates Impose I thought of you and how much you'd probably enjoy the book.